OGDEN -- City Council Chairwoman Caitlin K. Gochnour leaned her head on the back of her chair and stared at the ceiling.
Her body language seemed to sum up the apparent exasperation of some council members and city administration officials during a tense 2 1/2-hour work session Tuesday night.
An agenda listed the topic of discussion for the meeting as "city needs." But the city council and Mayor Matthew Godfrey could not concur on what that vague description meant.
Gochnour said the purpose of the meeting was to discuss a proposed $40 million multipurpose field house project proposed by Godfrey and how to involve residents in determining what kind of recreational facility is actually needed.
City Councilwoman Susan Van Hooser said she believed the meeting was called so that Godfrey, who won't seek a fourth term in November's election, could explain what projects he intends to complete before leaving office.
Godfrey said he thought the purpose of the meeting was to allow the administration and city council to begin laying the groundwork to jointly identify goals and projects.
"We need to know what is the target to determine how to get there," he told the council.
But putting that target in the cross hairs became difficult and after more than an hour, the council still had not defined any specific objectives. When the discussion stalled, Godfrey left his seat at the table, walked to the front of the room and used an easel to become an impromptu facilitator.
Godfrey began going through the steps the administration used in developing the field house proposal and elicited comments from the council about ways his staff could have better included them in the process. He scribbled numerous suggestions, including one that said at least a pair of council members should be involved in the planning process from the outset.
After several minutes, Godfrey asked the council if they were in agreement that the recommendations represented the process the administration should use in the future.
However, Bill Cook, the city council's executive director, said that even with the suggestions, the council still has to develop a formal process for addressing projects.
Godfrey seemed surprised, noting that Cook's response made crystal clear the level of disconnect between the council and administration. "Surely you have to see how dysfunctional (this is)?" Godfrey asked the council.
Cook said after the meeting the council will begin soon establishing a process to work with the administration on major recreational projects.
Godfrey has touted the field house project -- which would have a 60,000-square-foot indoor water park, Olympic-sized pool, tennis courts, running track and velodrome -- as having a significant impact in boosting Ogden's image as a recreation mecca.